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The administration of Gov. Ned Lamont has put forward a raft of incentives worth up to $75 million in a bid to ensure that Sikorsky Aircraft will continue to manufacture helicopters in Connecticut.
State officials announced Monday that Lamont and Sikorsky parent company Lockheed Martin had reached an agreement that would sustain over 7,000 jobs and keep the manufacturer’s headquarters — currently in Stratford — in the state through at least 2042.
Sikorsky is in the process of bidding for federal helicopter production contracts that will ultimately replace several existing helicopter programs, including Sikorsky’s own Black Hawk. The agreement would provide up to $75 million in incentives depending on the level of work the company secures, as long as production remains in Connecticut.
The pact would need to be approved by the General Assembly before coming into effect.
“Today is an important milestone in our ongoing partnership with Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky,” Lamont said in a statement. “If approved, this agreement will support new helicopter production in Connecticut and help enable thousands of Sikorsky jobs for decades to come. I look forward to working with the General Assembly to ratify legislation that will maintain Connecticut’s global reputation as a leader in aerospace innovation.”
“For nearly a century, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, has been a proud partner to Connecticut and business across the state,” said Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo. “Our collaboration with the State of Connecticut and Governor Ned Lamont on this project will sustain and help bring more high-tech, high-paying jobs to the state, while bolstering Connecticut’s leadership in aerospace production for decades to come.”
The 20-year agreement includes performance-based incentives in the form of sales and use tax offsets and tax credits.
Sikorsky, one of Connecticut’s largest private employers, has facilities in Stratford, Bridgeport, Shelton, North Haven and Trumbull. It also works with 242 supplier firms throughout the state.
The tentative agreement marks one of the largest incentive packages unveiled by Lamont’s administration to date, and underscores the importance of keeping Sikorsky accommodated as it works to secure contracts that could last for decades.
The state notably lost the corporate headquarters of both GE and United Technologies Corp., which has since become Raytheon Technologies, during the previous administration. Both relocations cost jobs and contributed to the perception that Connecticut was indifferent, and perhaps hostile, to business interests.
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